At 1000 metres above sea level, the cool, high forests of Werrikimbe are a perfect retreat from the Port Macquarie coast on a hot summers day.
The Scrub Bird walk leaves the Brushy Mountain campsite and wanders through a rainforest and eucalyptus forests that are recovering from the big fires of 2019. This area has one of the few remaining populations of the ground dwelling Rufous Scrub Bird (Atrichornis rufescens).
Past the junction with the Loop walk, the walk continues on to meet Spokes Trail, and shortly after that the turnoff to the lookout appears. Once there was a sign here, but now just two blackened stumps remain. The view from the lookout on a clear day is expansive.
After enjoying our morning tea and the view at the lookout, we returned on Spokes Trail, crossing the Forbes River where a spiny crayfish was happily scuttling around in crystal clear water. The river was full from recent rain, but a handy fallen tree upstream provided a dry crossing so we didn’t disturb the crayfish.
Left onto Racecourse trail, where many wildflowers were blooming and the grasses heavy with seed. At another burnt sign, we turned into the grass tree area and connected with the Loop walk back to the campground.
From Brushy Mountain campground, if you have a 4WD, you can continue on another 9km first on Racecourse Trail then right onto Coachwood Rd to Hoppys Lookout. Walk the 300 metres to Hoppys lookout for different views over Oxley Wild Rivers. A highlight is the nearby Kemps Pinnacle.
While you are in the area, take the time to visit Plateau Beech campground and explore the rainforest on a walking track visiting King Fern falls and Filmy Fern Falls.
Also close by on Hastings Forest Way is a turnoff to the Banda Banda Arboretum, where there is another forest walking track. Closer to Beechwood, take a short detour up to the Bellangry Number 1 Firetower lookout and picnic area for a great view of the Wilsons River catchment to the coast.